"Libraries at the heart of the community," was the theme of this year's Library Legislative Day which provided an opportunity for library advocates to promote awareness of the issues important to the library community. Leading issues emphasized funding for libraries, and included current legislation related to affordable broadband and Internet services for Wisconsin education and library communities, and state and federal education legislation support for school libraries.
Librarians are working closely with WiscNet and the University of Wisconsin on a legislative solution that allows the WiscNet board, staff, partners and all its members to continue to advance and innovate. The Senate Bill 375/Assembly Bill 473
was introduced to delay (for one year) the new restrictions on the UW System in selling, providing telecommunications services, and participating in any telecommunications cooperative or consortium, including connection to regional and national high-capacity broadband networks. The restrictions are intended to ensure WiscNet is not competing with private broadband communications networks. The extension made it through the Senate committee with a 6-1 vote but could face challenges in the Assembly and with the Governor.
The non-profit WiscNet
cooperative is fully funded by its 465 partner education and library members to promote collaboration, efficiency and quality telecommunications at an affordable price. Members include most of Wisconsin's colleges, universities, K12 school districts, all public library systems, the State of Wisconsin, many local and municipal governments, hospitals and several nonprofit affiliated organizations. In spite of about $90 million annually in taxpayer subsidies for private providers to provide cost-effective service in rural areas, Internet services through WiscNet
are a fraction of the cost.
WiscNet has been recently selected to participate in the national U.S. UCAN project
to facilitate advanced and innovative broadband applications to help community anchor institutions, including public libraries, schools, community colleges, research parks, public safety and health care institutions have access to advanced broadband capabilities.
As a member of the Internet2
network consortium for global researchers, the University of Wisconsin can combine services on a national scale. This month WiscNet was selected for a pilot eText accessibility trial for students and faculty. The new model for digital course materials reduces costs to students while efficiently compensating authors and publishers.
A WiscNet led Wisconsin broadband project was awarded a Top Rural Development Award
in 2011 from Wisconsin Rural Partners, Inc. for its positive impact on rural Wisconsin communities
. The project connects 182 community anchor institutions (libraries, educations, government and health care) with a broadband network also available to service area homes and businesses.
School Library Funding
Reductions and eliminations of school library programs are creating an 'access gap' between schools in wealthy and poor communities and affect public libraries (whose budgets are also being cut) now tasked with serving a school curriculum and teaching remedial information literacy skills. The Wisconsin legislature has considered bills proposing diverting funds from the Common School Fund which many school districts rely on as their sole funding source for information resources. The fund provides about 1/2 of one book per child per year.
Students in America perform better in schools with solid school library programs. Advocates have been uging U.S. Senators
from Wisconsin to include authorization for an effective school library program provision in the The Elementary and Secondary Education Act
(EASA), nationwide legislation addressing the needs and inequities in school library programs. Including a school library program provision in the Senate's ESEA now will position school libraries to be included when the ESEA bill is finally reauthorized, likely in the next Congress in 2013, and will determine K-12 federal education policy for years to come.
Ideas for Teen Tech week include programs involving library databases, gaming, music, e-social issues, tech oriented book or movie discussions, teen film-makers, publishing, YouTube, ebooks, Pinterest, cool apps, and a teen help desk to help patrons use technology devices such as ipods, ipads, cameras, cell phones, ereaders, etc. For more easy ways to encourage teens to celebrate Teen Tech week visit YALSA.
Libraries have traditionally served as economic engines for the book industry and are contributing to the digital shift in sales as collections that were traditionally tailored to local
cardholders become integrated into large online services offering the latest digital conveniences. Interactive digital innovation is transforming every aspect of the publishing business and redefining the market
as digital formats and licensing solutions evolve with the new technology.
Libraries face many ebook lending challenges such as consortia-access pricing, access to multiple copies for book groups, and restrictions. The current publishing paradigm restricts library cardholders with publisher terms of access, tools, and platforms. Publishers may also place restrictions on how many times a book can be downloaded or when new books become available. Some publishers don't lend ebooks at all and are holding out for licensing models such as a digital media download kiosk in the library that would be more in line with the lending of books.
involving American Library Association and publisher representatives have reaffirmed a mutual commitment to connect authors and readers, to meet the growing demands of the digital world, and to work towards a library model for lending ebooks that fosters a robust culture of literacy.
CCBC Recommended Youth Literature
- CCBC Shorts
offer a tour of recommended literature for youth in short presentations scheduled throughout the year that feature a variety of topics relevant to youth literacy including storytime selections, Wisconsin titles, award winners, holiday books, and selections for reluctant readers.
Library Journal Best Sellers
- Lists include fiction and nonfiction
(book and ebook) compiled from data on books borrowed and requested at public libraries throughout the U.S.
Outstanding Softcover Releases
displays new fiction and nonfiction releases in paperback with links to news and reviews.
"Let books be your dining table, and you shall be full of delights. Let them be your mattress and you shall sleep restful nights."
- From Ethicon St. Ephrem the Syrian (303-373)
For subscription services or to submit an article for streams contact Marsha at NWLS: 682-2365 ext. 18 or email Marsha Sorensen
NWLS: 3200 E. Lake Shore Dr. • Ashland, WI 54806
Serving libraries in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer, Vilas and Washburn Counties.